There is a recent study that says the anticipation of an event like a vacation or trip is often more enjoyable than the event itself. That may well be true. How often do we plan for a party, a family reunion, a long trip, and then spend weeks or months outlining the details, counting down the days, and daydreaming about how things will be?
Even the best outcome – and there are many great outcomes from all of our planning and work – does not build that same excitement as the anticipation does.
So perhaps it is true then that the meaning of life is in the journey...the getting to milestones and plateaus, the meandering through woods and riding along the twisty curves of mountain roads...not the graduation, the tenure, the historical marker or the tourist town.
The meaning of life...if it is in the journey...is the accumulation of experiences and interactions rather than of things. The meaning is found in conversations, in hugs, in giving and receiving love, in writing letters, in forging friendships and relationships that ground us when storms buffet and help us soar when the winds of life are favorable. It is not in grand houses, wealth, the best cars and toys. All of those things have their place, but they are the bones of a life and not the spirit.
We are all on a journey...some to farther horizons than others...and none of us walks alone. We all touch lives...in some small way or other...almost every day. A smile or comment to acknowledge another person can have the most profound effect on someone whose path is particularly difficult. Spending time to help someone in need...when giving objects would be easier and less demanding of self...can impact a life for years...even forever.
As you go your way in life, be mindful of the things you do and say...savor the moments that make up your happiness...and don’t mind the things that will never remain with you in the end.